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24 February 2009


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I tend to agree with Nicole. Then again, I am no fan of HSUS *or* Best Friends.


I appreciate your article overall, but the dog in your picture is pretty questionably an APBT. Considering that mislabeling by the media is such a big problem for the breed, it would be nice to see an illustration that was more clearly the breed you're discussing.

Christie Keith

Well, The OTHER Pat, I don't deny that, and have in fact written about it. But I still find it somewhat ironic that pitbullfan wished I'd used an "illustration" that was "more clearly the breed" I was discussing when the dog whose photo I used is arguably one of the most famous pit bulls of recent times -- AND I clearly identify her at the end of the post.


Sorry Christie - any implication that my comment was directed towards you was unintentional. I was simply voicing a general concern I've held for years over dogs identified as "pit bulls" in media reports.

Again, sorry for the mis-impression.

Christie Keith

Nah, I'm sorry for being grumpy. In my defense I woke up at 3:45 this morning and never got back to sleep. I finally got up at 4:30, worked out, walked the dogs in the dark, ate breakfast, and hit the blogs over my morning coffee. Even now, it's only 6:25 AM here. Possibly the important parts of my brain are still asleep. ;)


I hate those nights when I can't sleep (and I've had far too many of them lately!). Grumpiness understood!

Christie Keith

The dog is Meryl, one of the pit bulls rescued from Michael Vick's fighting kennel and now living at Best Friends. I do say that right at the end of the post.


I've always thought mislabelling was a HUGE problem. Every time I see reports of a "pit bull attack", my immediate thought in response is "Hmmm . . . . I wonder who did the ID of the breed, and how knowledgeable they actually were . . . . ?"


I think Meryl is a good rep of the catch-all "breed" she's being described as: Pitbull. I don't see any mention of APBT so I don't think there's a conflcit there. Anyway, look at her happy face!


The semantic game is a dead end. MANY of the Vick dogs were clearly not purebred APBTs (cough Jonny Justice cough). Advocates for the purebred APBT/AST long ago lost the battle to stop people from calling any blockheaded short haired dog a "pit bull" ... and in fact we now use the tendency to call any such dog, especially if it bites, a "pit bull" even when it's clearly a Lab mix, as an argument against BSL

In any case, the only way to tell if a dog truly is a purebred APBT/AST is if it has UKC/AKC papers (or maybe ADBA papers...).

For the purpose of saving our dogs, we can't let it matter.

As for the meeting, Best Friends has a right to feel positive about it, cause they're positive kind of folks. When it comes to the HSUS' murderous history towards pit bulls, I don't and I'm not.

Personally I don't and never will trust HSUS. The best thing they could do for pit bulls is just shut up.


Personally I don’t and never will trust HSUS. The best thing they could do for pit bulls is just shut up.

And yet again, all I can add to this is "What she said".

I think that HSUS' systematic swaying in the wind is indicative of the fact that they have no real, moral imperative to 'do what's best for the animals'. Instead, I now honestly believe that their determination is based on doing what's best for fund raising.

As goes the money, so goes HSUS. It's doesn't exactly make for a strong moral compass, does it?

Gina Spadafori

This was our 3,000th blog post. Just saying. And more than 50,000 comments. Since April of 2004 (although all the pre-2006 posts migrated over from my old personal blog, Dogma, which I shut down when we started this one.).


Now *that* is awesome without a doubt! Congratulations!


Comment by Gina Spadafori — February 24, 2009 @ 9:34 am

I'm interpreting this is as "everyone who commented on this milestone thread has won a prize". I'll be waiting at my inbox.

Gina Spadafori

Nice try, Shirley. :)

Phyllis DeGioia

I remain speechless (frequently thought to be impossible) at the actions of groups such as PETA and HSUS who raise money from animal lovers and yet don't act out of love for animals.


An organization with a moral commitment to animal welfare does not demand the death of 18 newly whelped puppies because they are "dangerous". Perhaps the Wilkes County Massacre will lead to a revision of HSUS's marketing strategy with respect to Pit Bulls, but only because it hits them in the wallet. HSUS is and remains a crisis fund raising organization not an animal welfare organization. Their tepid acceptance of No Kill when prodded by Maddie's Fund and subsequent backsliding once they got the check is clear evidence that HSUS cannot be trusted to do the right thing, only the profitable thing.


Didn't they also claim the Vick dogs were all killers and unstable, too? Now the Vick dogs were just 'not good fighting dogs'?

I'm glad they're responding to the public outcry, but how dumb do they really think their donors are?! (Don't answer that, it's probably depressing.)


I am not all that optimistic about the HSUS statement either, but I think one thing is clear- they heard us. And that's worth a huge amount. I agree with Frogdogz- I believe they're saying this to make happy the people forking over their bucks. But in this case, the message they're getting is that all dogs deserve a fair evaluation, and I think that's a lot to be glad for.


the message they’re getting is that all dogs deserve a fair evaluation, and I think that’s a lot to be glad for.

I think the message that would make of us happiest would be "Bugger off and leave the 'Pit Bull' evaluations to people who actually know something (anything) about the dogs".

Allowing HSUS to be 'experts' on Pit Bulls is like allowing Jerry Falwell (or whoever his moral successor is) to be an 'expert' on evolution.

Anne T

For what it's worth, PetPac has a petition urging President Obama not to listen to HSUS and it's 100 point proposal. You can read about it here.


There is a link at the bottom of the page to the petition if you are interested in signing.

Personally, I want HSUS to butt the &^%$ out of pets and pet issues completely!


Before everyone goes off the deep end left, or right; anyone remember this post?


No reason to think it doesn't still apply.

Christie Keith

Eli, but it doesn't MATTER... I'm constantly perplexed by people who simultaneously say that HSUS will follow the money, then when you point out the money will follow the people who DON'T want to kill dogs, suddenly turn around and say, "But HSUS doesn't REALLY care about pit bulls."

I don't care what's in their hearts and souls, I only care what they do and their stated positions. If they're a donation mill, and keeping up donations means they have to do and say things I believe in... isnt' that the best you can possibly hope for, under your scenario?


Sorry, I don't have the time to complete my post in one sitting.

My frustration is that a County ACO is not under any obligation to abdicate the responsibility of a large intake to _anybody_. Except that it is politically and fiscally expedient to do so.

As for me, whatever HSUS is, they make their money with Photoshop and the USPS, and that is enough said for me. They have zero credence, even if they parrot lines I can agree with.

Anne T

Off Top[ic, sort of: Christie, Gina, what IS with this???? Don't these people ever give up?

California State Senator Dean Florez has introduced Senate Bill 250, which would force mandatory sterilization of dogs and cats unless owners obtained an unaltered dog or cat license.


Gina Spadafori

The bill landed on my desk ... and we will write about it. This is not going to be the week, though, at least as far as I'm concerned. (We're on death watch now with my dad, who had slipped away in all way but the final one, but is in no pain while we wait with him.)


Take care Gina, all else will/can wait.


Thoughts are with you and with your family.

Anne T

Oh Gina, I hurt for you and your family. It brings up the pain of my parents' deaths. Sigh. Virtual hugs for you all.



This should be enlarged into giant posters and placed around the meeting hall while Wayne speaks.

Colorado Transplant

Pain--and then peace.

Terrible ordeal. Virtual hugs from me, too, for you and your whole family.

May TIME and spirituality help you.

Virtual hugs for you and your family from me, also.


Gina, I'm very sorry.

Kim Thornton

Gina, our thoughts are with you. I'm so sorry.


Gina, I'm so sorry. My thoughts are with you and your family.


Gina-A calm, loving Peace to you and yours.

Gina Spadafori

Thanks everyone.

Mike Spies

I expect that HSUS would say whatever they need to in order keep those donations rolling in... and their political agenda going forward. They're anti - animal ownership why would anyone fall for their lies?

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